Bikes of Taunus Bikepacking No.7 2024

Bikes of Taunus Bikepacking No.7 2024

11 June, 2024

This mixed-terrain 1,000km challenging route has been coined “Jesko’s rollercoaster” as the Taunus hills, which are not high mountains, are full of relentless up and down which are more than enough to wear bikes and riders out. Typically, only about 50 to 60 percent of riders make it to the finish line. The climbing is relentless. Blown-up knees and sore achilles heels are testament to the demanding nature of the course.

Riders will pass over a wild mix of gravel roads, asphalt lanes, cobblestone alleys and forest trails. They will be treated to a tour of this region’s history including remains of the Roman empire’s last frontier, medieval towns, deserted army depots and defunct slate mines.

Follow along with the race commentary here.

Vadym Tiroshko

Age: 30

Cap number: 47

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Bike: Scott Speedster Gravel 10 has been through a lot of harsh places. From the stock bike, there are only the frame and seatpost left. Recently updated to GRX, front Garbaruk 38T, rear 11-46. Fresh Panaracer GravelKing X1 tyres (totally in love with them), my first event tubeless.

Key items of kit: The weather makes it hard to make the final kit choices. Brooks frame bags, Evoc 8L rear rocket, USWE vest, 3L of water capacity. I hope the rain gear will not be needed, and the mud baths will be pleasant. I have a huge pack of lifesaving Haribos.

Ingo Rheinbay

Age: 49

Cap number: 44

Location: Rüsselsheim

Bike: Trek Checkpoint SL6

Key items of kit: Ortlieb Seat Bag, Ortlieb Handlebar Bag, Ortlieb Frame Bag, Cyclite Food Pouch, Cyclite Top Tube Bag large.

Hannah Ghazi-Idrissi

Age: 28

Cap number: 51

Location: Innsbruck/Wiesbaden

Bike: 3T Exploro Ultra Shimano GRX with Schwalbe G One R. Only a few months & less than 1k old, this bike has already won my heart. Perfect ratio of comfort and speed, with the gear ratio to climb (almost) every uphill with ease.

Key items of kit: Packs from Apidura (Expedition), Sleeping bag and Air mat, Kit incl rainwear from Albion.

Markus Baran

Age: 45

Cap number: 59

Location: Austria

Bike: Canyon Grizl

Key items of kit: Apidura Top Tube Bag 2L, Frame Bag 5,3L and Saddle Bag 17L Supernova B54 Mini Pro.

Andreas Hölderle

Age: 41

Cap number: 17

Location: Bräunlingen, Germany

Bike: Bombtrack BEYOND+ ADV. 1x 12 SRAM Eagle , 30t front chainring and 52t back.

Key items of kit: Garmin Edge Explore 2. Hope Tech 3 Duo E4 Scheibenbremse.

Barry McWilliams

Age: 53

Cap number: 10

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bike: 2019 Kona Libre, SRAM AXS with (finally) enough gears for Taunus! Rene Herse Manastash Ridge tires, Salsa bars, & Brooks saddle.

Key items of kit: Bags from front to rear: Salsa, Outershell, Gramm, Porcelain Rocket, Tailfin. Son hub with Sinewave Beacon for light plus electricity. The North Face bivysack & a quilt + mattress sleep system. All the usual extra tubes, bits & bobs for mid-ride repairs. Probably an extra pair of socks, because it's the little things that matter :). Fuji x100v to document the trip (well worth the weight).

Manuel Schmid

Age: 44

Cap number: 63

Location: Swiss

Bike: I will be riding my Salsa Cutthroat equipped with SRAM Apex 1x11 shifting and Hope RX4+ disc brakes. It has a Rotor crankset with a 34T oval chainring and a 9-46 cassette from e* thirteen. René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires are mounted on a SON/Newman wheelset built by Light-Wolf Studio. The dynamo is connected to a Sinewave Beacon light with a USB charger. What else? A Vecnum suspension stem, 50 cm Dropbar from Curve, and ZIPP Vuka Aerobar.

Key items of kit: Bags are a mix from Apidura (Top), Salsa (Frame), Revelate Designs (Back), and Restrap (Aerobar). For navigation, I use a Garmin Edge 1040. For sleeping, I use a Borah Gear Cuben Bivy, the Sea to Summit Spark sleeping bag, and a sleeping mat from Sea to Summit. If the weather is bad, I prefer to stay in a hotel 😊. I wear a mix of Maap, Mons Royale, and Pearl Izumi clothes. If it is cold, I have a vest from Odlo, Merino arm and leg warmers, and a Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket. If it is wet, I have a Gore jacket and Endura pants.

Pascal Streng

Age: 30

Cap number: 35

Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Bike: Orbea Terra M31 equipped with an SRAM AXS mullet, 36T Alugear chainring in the front, and 10-52 GX cassette in the back. 3T Aeroghiaia handlebar, Selle Italia SLR Boost Kit Carbonio saddle, and beneath that, a Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost for extra comfort when it gets rough.

Handbuilt custom wheelset by myself, rims are Roval C38, Sapim CX-Ray blade spokes, DT 370 hub in the back, and in the front, one SON 28 Disc Dynamo Hub. The dynamo hub supplies a Supernova M99 DYPro and a Cinq Plug 5 USB-C charging adapter with power, no power banks required. To ensure the two consumers do not interfere with each other, a mechanical switch has been connected in between, allowing you to decide which of the two gets power. During the day, the USB charger is used, and in the evening, the lamp. The lamp is attached to the GoPro mount and the charging adapter sits in the front of the frame bag.

A 45mm G-One R tire is mounted on both the front and rear wheels, tubeless setup.

Setup complete weight without catering: 13.5kg

Key items of kit: The key element of the setup is the dynamo hub. The light supply is always guaranteed, and the charging adapter makes this setup completely self-sufficient, which simplifies long periods in remote areas. You can better concentrate on the essentials: pedaling and eating.

Apart from that, I mainly focused on weight for all the other pieces of equipment: a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite sleeping pad, Sea to Summit Spark 0 summer sleeping bag, an Evoc hydration pack, and a Lupine Piko helmet light. The particularly small chainring with 36T in the front and the large cassette with 52T allow this bike to be ridden uphill for a very long time, perfect for this event, I think.

The bags are an Apidura Racing Series Frame Bag (4L), an Apidura Racing Series Long Top Tube Bag (2L), and an Apidura Expedition Saddle Bag (9L).

Eelco Meuter

Age: 47

Cap number: 67

Location: Germany

Bike: Canyon Inflite AL 9

Key items of kit: Coffee

Greg Luckos

Age: 45

Cap number: 82

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Bike: Bombtrack Hook ext c

Key items of kit: Exped extra long and wide sleeping pad

Markus Valentin

Age: 35

Cap number: 53

Location: Leipzig, Germany

Bike: Cannondale Topstone Carbon

Key items of kit: Restrap Race Frame and Top Tube bag, Relevate Designs Saddle Bag. Cumulus Sleeping Bag, Thermarest Mat.

Manfred Fleck

Age: 68

Cap number: 52

Location: Weinitzen, Austria

Bike: Trek checkpoint ALR 5. Shimano GRX 2x11 groupset 48/32 - 11/42. Pancho wheelset with Vittoria Mezcal 44mm (tubeless).

Key items of kit: Bags from Apidura in the back (Stabilizer with bottle cages) & top tube, frame bag and aero bar bag, lights from different companies. Garmin Edge 1030 Plus.

Nina Jäcker

Age: 24

Cap number: 42

Location: Frankfurt am Main, Berlin

Bike: Kona Rove DL

Key items of kit: Most importantly, of course: the food pouch! It’s self-made (not by me, though) and thoroughly loved. It also carries the most important things: the chocolate and the period cup, which kinda belong together anyways, in my opinion.

Then, I have an Ortlieb front roller for clothes and other light items, and my Topeak backloader for the sleeping setup and heavier items. On top of that, of course, we have the first aid kit, nice and visible, since I want everybody to find it in case I am the one who is taking the fall.

The frame bag is the only one that would fit into my tiny frame, it has everything that I need quickly accessible during the day.

And that’s all! I wish everybody an amazing ride!!

Mario Martins

Age: 39

Cap number: 50

Location: Robertville ,Belgium

Bike: I'm riding and hiking the Taunus with my Sauvage La Forêt. Completed the setup with a Sram groupset, 32 chainring, 11-51 cassette, a pair of schwalbe tires, and a Fox Stepcast 32 suspension fork. On the handlebar, I mount a aerobar for the transition parts.

Key items of kit: My luggage goes into a custom-made frame bag from BYmarion&quentin, a front roll, and apidura & Rusjan bags. Sleeping kit includes a Sea to Summit mattress, Deca bivvy, and wisla 150. For illumination, there's a Klite with Son 28 and Stoots Helka3 for helmet. Navigation is managed by a Wahoo Bolt v2.

Cem Giorgio Uçan

Age: 29

Cap number: 69

Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Bike: I will be riding a Rose Backroad with a Shimano GRX 810 groupset and an 11-42 cassette. For tires, I will be using 40mm Schwalbe Overland tires, tubeless.

Key items of kit: I use a mix of brands. I have a frame bag and top tube bag from Restrap where I store my electronics, tools, and food. The saddle bag is from Topeak, and it holds my sleeping equipment and clothes. For sleeping gear, I have a light sleeping mat from Exped, a summer sleeping bag from Nordisk, and a reactor liner to boost its temperature for chilly nights. In the front, I have a food pouch that fits between the Profile Design Aero bars for easy access to snacks. On my back, I carry Evoc's Hydro Pro 3 hydration vest for an additional 1.5L of water and extra food and storage.

Röttger Schiffels

Age: 37

Cap number: 32

Location: Geisenheim, Germany

Bike: Ibis Hakka, Hunt Gravel 42 Carbon Wheelset with Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC 40 mm, Garbaruk 10-52 cassette.

Key items of kit: Mix of Tailfin, Restrap and Ortlieb bags, StS sleeping kit, Supernova Airstream 2 light, Anker Powerbank and Wahoo Roam for navigation.

Moritz Schön

Age: 25

Cap number: 25

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Bike: Specialized Crux Pro, custom 8.3kg build with mechanical GRX 11speed. Gearing is 36 teeth and a 11-46 cassette, combined with Favero powermeter pedals. Carbon rims with 47mm Pathfinder Pro making it a fast, reliable and comfortable setup. 3t Aeroghaia and a 3D printed saddle are furthermore noteworthy.

Key items of kit: Evoc Drinking Backpack 1.5L and 2x 700ml bottles to ensure hydration. For the night I have a Klymit Static V Ultralight Mattress with Groundsheet and a Sea to Summit Spark SP0 Sleeping Bag. Lupine Mono SL and a Piko keep me safe on the descents and let me watch the wildlife. Sunscreen and UV sleeves protect me from sunburn as I am a ginger. For luggage, I completely trust Apidura Racing Series; Ortlieb will be replaced. Bar bag is Rapha, plus a Specialized Food Pouch.

Filip Bieleszuk

Age: 33

Cap number: 60

Location: Wrocław, Poland

Bike: Bike name is Margola, which stands for Margherita. It's a custom steel frame made by Polish framebuilder Kuba Bielak and has a dedicated painting designed by Bananamama which includes some pizza details.

Key items of kit: Custom bags made by Polish manufacturer Batu. There is also a set of proper MTB wheels from Spank with Continental Race King 27,5 x 2.2" tires for technical trails.

Nanke Stein

Age: 47

Cap number: 66

Location: Kranenburg, Germany

Bike: Lauf Seigla WW One-by SRAM with 45mm G-One bites tyres.

Key items of kit: A mix of Ortlieb and Apidura race series. For extra water I carry a Camelbak Chase.

Federico Bellomo

Age: 60

Cap number: 45

Location: Luxembourg

Bike: Jaegher Hurricane FLX (custom stainless steel), SRAM Force Mullet and Hunt Superdura Dynamo and Duke Worldrunner.

Key items of kit: SON Dynamo and SON lights, Tailfin framebags and Ortlieb seatbag.

Isabel Hopp

Age: 22

Cap number: 62

Location: Nürnberg, Germany

Bike: Omnium CXC, Selfmade Mullet Drivetrain. #steelisreal

Key items of kit: Fancy handcrafted "Reisefix" Bag

Philip Jakoubek

Age: 27

Cap number: 61

Location: Nürnberg, Germany

Bike: Omnium CXC with selfmade Mullet Drivetrain. #steelisreal

Key items of kit: Fancy handgrofted "Reisefix" Bag

Carsten Boehm

Age: 43

Cap number: 28

Location: Bergheim, Germany

Bike: Bike: Ridley Kanzo Adventure, Gear: SRAM AXS, Tires: Vittoria Mezcal.

Key items of kit: Lights: Lupine, Bags: Revelate Design, Tailfin, Restrap, Aerobar: ZIPP.

Thomas Nylen

Age: 58

Cap number: 88

Location: Lyngby, Denmark

Bike: 2021 Trek Checkpoint 5

Key items of kit: Gruffalo as co-pilot

Michael Sherman

Age: 37

Cap number: 89

Location: Offenbach, Germany

Bike: Orbea Alma M30 2023 with Feelgood Endurance Fit, Shimano XT 1x12 10-51t cassette, 36t Cranks, RockShox SID SL, Schwalbe Thunderburt 2.1 Super Race Tubeless, SQlab 611 Ergowave Active saddle, and SQlab Inner Barends.

Key items of kit: Bags: Ortlieb Frame Pack 6L, Saddlebag 16L, Fuel Pack 1L, Restrap Stem Bag 1L, Revelate Designs Joey Downtube Bag 2L, Evoc Hydro Pro 3 with 1.5L Bladder. Electronics: Lezyne Infinite Power Pack & Multi Drive 1000 Lumen Front Light, Strip Drive Rear Light, Anker 20k Powerbank, Fast Charger, Magnetic Cables, Wahoo ELEMNT Navigation, iPhone. Sleep: Sea to Summit Spark 1 Sleeping Bag, Ultra Light Small Mattress, Inflatable Pillow, Thermo Bivy as Footprint, Mosquito Headnet, Baselayers Pyjama, Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket.

Ross Anderson

Age: 48

Cap number: 24

Location: Kriftel, Germany

Bike: Milanetti Libero CX, 2x with a big 11-42t cassette made possible via a Wolftooth Goat Link.

Key items of kit: AGU bags and Pirelli Cinturato R tyres. All ready for this year's Taunus Bikepacking!

Janek Schwenker

Age: 25

Cap number: 57

Location: Diez an der Lahn, Germany

Bike: Open Up frame, Zipp 303s wheels, Schwalbe Overland tires, Zipp components, MCFK saddle, Shimano GRX Di2 1x11 38-11/42.

Key items of kit: Ortlieb and Apidura bags, The North Face sleeping bag, Sea to Summit mattress, Ledlenser H19R Signature lamp, Wahoo ELEMNT Roam 2 computer.

Marc Schnitzius

Age: 31

Cap number: 15

Location: Koblenz, Germany

Bike: Standert Erdgeschoss steel frame, SRAM AXS shifting (36/10-52), 650b DT Swiss wheels with 2.1" Vittoria Mezcal tires, Supernova/SON28/Cinq Plug combo, Redshift suspension stem, ALLYGN Diamond front rack, Apidura Race bags.

Key items of kit: Thermarest Neoair, Sea-to-Summit Spark 1, SOL bivy, backpack with bladder.

Jens Bacher

Age: 51

Cap number: 21

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Bike: Cube Nuroad C62 with Nextie Wheelset; Prologo Scratch M5. Tires Front Schwalbe Overland 45mm; Rear Vittoria Mezcal 44mm.

Key items of kit: Saddlebag Ortlieb, Framebag Cyclite, Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack and Food Pouch.

Joachim (Joe) Röhe

Age: 34

Cap number: 37

Location: Büsum, Germany

Bike: Marke: Böttcher, Modell: Parcour CroMo Custom Made, Schaltung: Shimano GRX 1x11 mit Garbaruk Set, Kassette: 11-46Z, Kurbel: 40Z, Lenker: RIDE FARR Aero Gravel, Lenkerband: Ergon BT Gravel, Bereifung: Schwalbe G-One Bite mit Schlauch, VR Nabe: SON Nabendynamo, Scheinwerfer: SON Edelux, Sattel: Brooks B17, GPS: Garmin 1000.

Key items of kit: Frame-Pack: Apidura, Seat-Pack: Ortlieb, Handlebar-Pack: Ortlieb, Food-Bag: Lifeisaride, Fork Dry-Bag: Ortlieb, Sleeping Set: Schlafsack, Bivi/Tarp.


Age: 33

Cap number: 64

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Bike: Cotic Escapade, Steel, 2017 (55,000 km), GRX 810, 1x11, 40T, 10-42, 28 Zoll, Hope Pro 2, Schwalbe G-One Bite 40x622 tubeless, Vittoria Terreno Dry 40-622 tubeless.

Key items of kit: Ortlieb 16,5 L, Relevate 5L middle, 2x800ml bottle, light : sleeping bag, iso, beauty, jacket, merino shirt, food, Lupine SL Mono, Lupine Neo, powerbank 20.000.

Patrick Das

Age: 58

Cap number: 11

Location: Heusden-Zolder, Belgium

Bike: Bombtrack Hook EXT C. SRAM AXS mullet build 34t with 10-50 cassette. Pirelli Cinturato M 50mm on Hunt 650b Adventure Sport wheels. Profile Design aerobars for comfort.

Key items of kit: Garmin Edge 530/830 for navigation. Lights: front and head Fenix, tail Lezyne. Bags: Tailfin, Apidura and Restrap. Sleeping kit: OR Helium bivy, Etherlight XT sleeping pad and Aeros pillow from Sea-to-sumit, Hyberg quilt. Camelbak hydration vest.

Elke Gutermann

Age: 59

Cap number: 12

Location: Nürnberg, Germany

Bike: Marin Indian Fire Trail 2008 slightly modified to tubeless, carbon rigid fork, front wheel 27.5". Nice and light.

Key items of kit: Breathable bivy bag with mosquito net, Tarp (not yet decided), TAR Uberlite Mat, Cumulus 150 Quilt, rain gear, Wahoo, Suunto Race Watch, 2 Nitecore UL headlamps to be able to ride a bit into the night this time, lots of food, a good mindset, and hopefully a lot of fun.

Jan Malek

Age: 36

Cap number: 38

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Bike: Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 (2022), 46/30x11/40, DT Swiss wheels, Schwalbe G-One Bite 50-622, Fizik saddle, Controltech aerobars.

Key items of kit: Apidura/Lezyne bags, inflatable mat + feather sleeping bag (0°), Fenix BC26R front light.

Nathalie Hoogeveen

Age: 33

Cap number: 40

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Bike: J. Guillem Atalaya, a titanium bike with a SON28 dynamo in the front and Pirelli Cinturato M 45mm tires. Shimano GRX 31/48 x 11-36t.

Key items of kit: A comfortable sleeping system with my OR Helium Bivvy, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad, and Sea to Summit Spark SP1 Sleeping Bag, along with my ultralight cushion. Bags are Apidura (top tube), Salsa (front), and Tailfin (Aeropack). Extra luxury item: a tongue scraper.

Ralf Hanisch

Age: 57

Cap number: 87

Location: Esslingen, Germany

Bike: Ghost, Gravel

Key items of kit: double bottle holder

Markus Straussner // Tante Mäkki

Age: 30

Cap number: 92

Location: Konstanzm, Germany

Bike: Tante Mäkki - Touriste - Columbus Zona lugged frame.

The special thing about my bike is that it has a steel frame that I brazed myself. I built the frame in Frankfurt am Main, at the Frankfurt Rhein Main Chamber of Crafts. I planned the bike as a modern gravel bike that can do everything from bikepacking to randonneuring, with mudguards and a pannier rack.

Shimano GRX 46/28 crankset and front derailleur, 11-36 Force cassette, R7000 rear derailleur and STIs, TRP Spyre SLC brakes, self-built wheelset with DT Swiss 350 hubs, SLR Carbonio saddle, Levelnine carbon seatpost, Levelnine aero stem, Ritchey WCS drop bar 400mm, XT Trail SPD pedals.

Key items of kit: Fyxation Sparta fork, King Cage Iris Cages (3x), King Cage Anything Cages (2x), Revelate Seatbag, Restrap Top Tube Bag, and 3L dry bags at the fork.

Lukas Maier

Age: 35

Cap number: 73

Location: Frankfurt, Germany


Key items of kit: Tailfin Frame Bag, Tailfin Alloy Rack, Nordisk Passion Three sleeping bag, SOL Emergency Bivy, Therm-a-Rest NeoAir.

N van Batenburg

Age: 30

Cap number: 74

Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Bike: LIV Devote 2024. Shimano GRX, Shimano CS 12-Speed 11x36, CADEX AR 700x40c tubeless tires, Shimano pedals. Specialized Power Pro Mirror Saddle.

Key items of kit: Garmin Edge 580, Tailfin Aeropack, Apidura Frame Bag, Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL, Lezyne Strip Pro Alert Drive 300, Deda Parabolica 1 Alta.


Age: 41

Cap number: 16

Location: Hofheim, Germany

Bike: Wilier Jena

Key items of kit: Garbaruk 11-50 Cassette, Tailfin, Cyclite Aerobar Bag